Audit comes as Elon Musk has raised concerns over company’s claims that only 5% of users are bots.
‘So … [checks calculator] … that would be like 10 times more than 5%,’ Musk tweets in response to findings.
At least half of US President Joe Biden’s 22.3 million followers are fake, an independent audit of the social media platform has found.
On Wednesday, Newsweek reported an analysis using software company SparkToro’s audit tool calculated that 49.3% of Biden’s users are “fake followers.”
According to SparkToro, “fake followers” are “accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).”
The new information further complicates the deal already in the works to sell Twitter to potential buyer Elon Musk, who has raised questions over the company’s claim that only 5% of users are spam bot accounts.
Responding to Newsweek‘s report Wednesday, Musk remarked, “Interesting,” and added, “So … [checks calculator] … that would be like 10 times more than 5%.”
On Tuesday, Musk announced the deal was put on hold, tweeting, “My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
While Musk initially offered to purchase Twitter for $54.20 a share, the company’s stock price has dropped precipitously to $36.84 weeks after the offer.
Replying to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s lengthy thread Monday claiming it’d be impossible to calculate the actual number of bots on the platform, Musk responded with a poop emoji and commented the figures are necessary to market the company to advertisers.
Musk has called on the company to “welcome external validation” of their 5% bot claim.
Newsweek reports the SparkToro tool found as many as 70.2% of Musk’s 93 million followers are also bots.